Updated: Apr 22, 2020
"Refusing to assign a 'secret', an ultimate meaning to text "liberates what maybe called an anti-theological activity, an activity that is truly revolutionary since to refuse meaning is in the end, to refuse God and his hypostases - reason, science, law." - Roland Barthes
By Ernesto Todd Mireles, Ph.D.
This begging for scraps at the electoral table, not cute, not a good look, acting like boot licking sycophants, standing around defending the need to vote for a republican or democrat, all the while maintaining it doesn’t matter which as long as you participate? Making declarative statements about how you aren’t going to vote for either because neither party “represents” you?
The irritating thing those people have in common is none of them are doing anything to actually build real political power for Xicanos, Latinos or Indigenous peoples. These two options (republican and democrat) are simply default acquiescence to the settler colonial political structure. If your goal is to end colonialism it doesn’t matter who you vote for, so go ahead and vote I do, even though I believe that vote in every election is ultimately for colonialism.
How is that true? It is true because the entire argument of participation regardless of which of the two sides you are on is ONLY ABOUT SETTLER COLONIAL PARTY POLITICS, and the perpetuation of the settler colonial state by its own laws and regulations established at the moment of conquest to exclude black and brown people.
I want the rarely explored third option within U.S. colonial politics to the republican/democrat “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain” binary, which in this case can only be a sentiment designed to muddy the historical waters of brown exclusion. That third option states, “anyone not actively participating in building mass political organization for Xicanos, Latinos and Indigenous people has no reason to complain about the second class treatment we receive across society whether you “vote” or not.”
Xicanos argue endlessly about being Democrat and Republican, but never about whether we should have our own political party. No, we just laugh those clowns right out of the room, for no other reason really than our community simply cannot conceive of a situation where Xicano/Indigenous political force could offer an alternative to the political and economic force of settler colonialism.
The belief indigenous people are political, cultural, economic, and social losers is the plain view “secret” of U.S. history books, movies, and religious sermons written over the past 500 years. That deeply embedded “secret” contends Indigenous sovereignty is fractured, so beyond repair that as a community especially Xicanos and other indigenous people openly scoff at even the suggestion of resistance, even one that operates fully within the parameters of this nation’s laws - like forming a political party.
Recognizing any political allegiance to the Xicano Indigenous community beyond benign cultural practices puts people in dangerous territory. Those individuals stand on the threshold of a mighty refusal ready to embrace the understanding that the “national liberation of a people is the regaining of the historical personality of that people.”
Xicanos have to evolve politically if we are ever going to be more than a way for neo-libs to prove they speak a little Spanish. One way for that evolution to happen is when the political mutation of regaining our historical personality is introduced and intentionally spread to the population.
By regaining their historical personality Xicanos embrace their political destiny not as subjects of a settler colonial state but as a politically sovereign group of people. That is political, economic and social evolution. Turning our backs on the settler politics of the Republican and Democratic Parties in favor of building a Xicano/Latino/Indigenous political party that serves as a first step toward “a return to history.”
It is this call for regaining history that is the dangerous part because it demands a large group of people recognize and reject the political reality of the past 500 years. It demands political action and as result of that demand is so thoroughly ridiculed it’s hard to bring it up at all.
We must have a political party, one that works for the future of Xicano/Indigenous people. The passing days of Covid 19 bring all of us closer and closer to the truth of our profound disappointed in the Dems, and our deep dislike of Republicans. But it still hasn’t occurred to the majority that Raza could form a political party based on the recouping of our “historical personality”?
No one is saying good work isn’t happening in our Indigenous Xicano/Mexicano communities across the country. There are real heroes everywhere - and now with the deportation of many Dreamers - these heroes are beginning to organize themselves in Mexico. This type of low intensity grassroots organizing can begin to build a new Xicano Indigenous culture to replace existing colonial culture and its twisted institutions.
Are our interests really so divergent from the rest of the population? We live on this planet, drink water, breathe air, and need food. Our interests are divergent not from the people around us but from the political economic system that seeks to uphold narcissistic capitalism intent on destroying the earth. I would argue the only thing that is hard to believe is how many of us fight against the idea of owning our political power.
The process of reflection, knowledge, action and transformation are basic expressions of indigenous knowledge acquisition found across the hemisphere. What the West calls the scientific method. To study or reflect on a matter is the building of knowledge and understanding about the material conditions, a population faces. When specific knowledge presents itself, a decision should be made about the course of action to correct those conditions.
The need for a Xicano Indigenous political response has grown across the 20th century and into the 21st leading us to this moment of pandemic that is creating a challenge to capitalism in which the possibility of profound political, social and economic change has never been more real or more inescapable.
Once the course of action is engaged, as in any physical process, action leads to evolution. This process removes us from the linear notion of time to a circular understanding by deleting the deficit model forced on us by settler colonialism and re-centering on the success of the Indigenous Xicano community outside of its relationship to settler colonialism.
The development of political will (reflection) is the key to organizing political party victories (knowledge). A people’s movement produces actionable power (action) as a consequence of the political mobilization of the people by the organizer. Political cultural education with the goal of building a political party is the “crucial task” of any anticolonial organizing initiative seeking to, “educate, mobilize, organize, and arm the whole people in order that they might take part (transformation) in the resistance.”
Su Voto es su Voz.